My Account
Preview
Preview

Comparing the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod's Theogony, and Ovid's Metamorphoses

:: 7 Works Cited
Length: 3429 words (9.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Comparing the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod's Theogony, and Ovid's Metamorphoses

   There are many parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod's Theogony, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. The first similarity is immediately apparent: structure. We can view the structure of the Gilgamesh story as three concentric circles: a story within a story within a story. In the outer circle, a narrator prepares the audience for the primary narrative, contained within the second circle: the tale of Gilgamesh's adventures. Within this second circle a third narrative, the flood story, is told to Gilgamesh by Utanapishtim. Ovid's Metamorphoses is told in a similar way: Ovid starts out by telling of his intention and invoking the gods' help to tell the story. He then tells many tales as the primary narrative, and within the primary narrative exists other narratives, such as "Venus tells Adonis the story of Atalanta" in Book 10. Even Hesiod's Theogony is similar to some extent. He has a bit of a prologue in which he explains how the Muses have inspired him to write of the creation, and then he enters the primary creation narrative.

This method of storytelling does a variety of things. First, it prepares the reader to accept the story. In Gilgamesh, the narrator tells us that Gilgamesh has set down his adventures in his own hand. This leads the reader to accept the story as an authoritative one, especially considering it has come from a mortal, like us, who is part god. Because Gilgamesh is part god, we realize that if he can accept his lot in life, his mortality, then we mere mortals should be able to do the same. In Theogony, Hesiod prepares his audience to accept the story by telling (ad nauseum) that the Muses have worked through him to create...


... middle of paper ...


...M.E.L. Early Mesopotamia and Iran. McGraw-Hill: New York, 1965.

Ovid. Metamorphoses. Trans. Rolfe Humphries. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 1983.

Rosenberg, Donna. "Gilgamesh." World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics. 3rd ed. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group, 1999. 26-57.

Swisher, Clarice. The Ancient Near East. Lucent Books: San Diego, 1995.

Works Consulted

The "Epic of Gilgamesh": An Outline. Online. 15 Feb. 2000. http://www.hist.unt.edu/ane-09.htm

Sumerian Mythology FAQ. Online. 15 Feb. 2000. http://webster.unh.edu/%7Ecbsiren/sumer-faq.html

Gardner, John and John Maier. Gilgamesh: Translated from the Sin-leqi-unninni version. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Harris, Stephen L. “Gilgamesh.” The Humanist Tradition in World Literature. Ed. Stephen Harris. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., 1970.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay The Destructive Power of Love in Hesiod's Theogony - The Destructive Power of Love in Hesiod's Theogony Love is one of the most fundamental forces at work in Hesiod's Theogony.Ê Personified as Eros, Love is one of the first gods to appear.Ê Although he is parentless and fathers no children of his own, he plays catalyst to the reproductive creation of the world.Ê Just as the world is not perfect, however, so Eros is not an entirely benevolent power.Ê He affects all beings indiscriminately, which results in the proliferation of monsters and dark forces.Ê He is also persistent in his work, continuing to facilitate the production of new gods who threaten the established ones, causing tensions, rivalries, and all out war.Ê In fact, we find that L...   [tags: Love Hesiod Theogony Essays] 1149 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Hesiod’s Theogony - Hesiod’s Theogony Hesiod writes his Theogony within the context of the nascent polis, which informs his conception of the Greek pantheon. The generations of gods that he portrays begin with the elements of nature and move steadily toward fully anthropomorphic figures, which represent elements corresponding to the experience of the city-state. In Hesiod’s time, the polis was led by a king, or kings, and the rule of Zeus that Hesiod portrays serves as an example of royal rule for them....   [tags: Hesiod’s Theogony] 515 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Hesiod’s Theogony - Hesiod’s Theogony has transcended generations, delivering to vast audiences the traditional stories of the Greek gods as well as ancient Greek conceptions of the world. One particularly well known aspect of the Theogony, the section that tells the tale of Prometheus, is unique in that it has little intrinsic worth; its value is in its ability to enhance other stories and conceptions. Across the globe, people know well the story of the one who deceived Zeus and stole fire for man, but few recognize its role in Hesiod’s work as a whole....   [tags: Hesiod Theogony Greek Greece Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1326 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Deception in Sophocles' Philoctetes and Hesiod's Theogony Essays - Deception in Sophocles' Philoctetes and Hesiod's Theogony For many centuries, the art of deception has been a powerful tool for achieving goals, and it has spawned the ancient debate of the ends justifying the means. In the tragedy Philoctetes by Sophocles and in Hesiod's Theogony, there are many instances of deception, particularly on the part of men in the texts. For each of them, the deceit is justified as a means of building and maintaining a reputation or obtaining power. Ultimately, however, the use of deception results in putting the men in positions of further vulnerability....   [tags: Deception Sophocles Hesiod Essays] 1354 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Hesiod's Theogony Essay - Hesiod's Theogony Hesiod's Theogony is one of the best introductions we have on the creation of the world. According to Hesiod, three major elements took part in the beginning of creation. Chaos, Gaia, and Eros. It is said that Chaos gave birth to Erebos and Night while Ouranos and Okeanos sprang from Gaia. Each child had a specific role, and Ouranos's duty was to protect Gaia. Later on, the two became a couple and were the first Gods to rule the world. They had twelve children who where known as the Titans....   [tags: Mythology, Greek] 319 words
(0.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Character Differences of Hesiod's Zeus and ovid's Jupiter Essay - The Character Differences of Hesiod's Zeus and Ovid's Jupiter There is no doubt in mythology that the king of gods, Zeus, is the most supreme and powerful, ruling the sky. He controls the thunderbolt, a symbol of power feared by both gods and mortals. The Greeks and Romans honored Zeus above all other gods. He is without mistake, the god of all gods. Their stories of Zeus are plenty; his designs have molded mythology from his birth. Zeus' victory in outwitting his intelligent wife, Metis, by swallowing her pregnant, was the gateway used by the Greeks and Romans to show Zeus as the greatest god to come since his father and grandfather....   [tags: World Cultures] 930 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about The Role of Women in Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days - The role of women in Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days is outstandingly subordinate. There are a number of times in Hesiod's text that despises women, being mortal, immortal, or flesh-eating monsters. The overall impression of women from Theogony and Works and Days, leads one to believe that Hesiod is a misogynist. The very creation of women was set as a punishment to man because Prometheus, son of Iapetos, tried to trick Zeus into eating bones and then, with the tube of a fennel, steals fire to give to mankind....   [tags: Poetry] 744 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Ovid's Metamorphoses Book II Essay - Ovid's story of Erysichthon is told in the epic Metamorphoses at lines 738-878 in book 8. Erysichthon was a man who is guilty of a sacrilege involving the sacred grove of the goddess Ceres. The goddess punishes him by casting the dreadful Famine upon him, where she would hide and consume Erysichthon with a voracious hunger. This punishment for cutting down the sacred oak of Ceres is severe indeed, bringing misfortune not only to him, but upon his whole country. He even resorts to selling his own daughter for money to feed himself as a result of his ravenous desire for food....   [tags: Ovid] 1535 words
(4.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay - Change is inevitable in life, whether it’s for good or bad. Ovid makes us reflect about something as basic as change, which can alter dramatically our lives, as we know them. According to Lively’s context for Ovid, Ovid in each of his literary career effectively transformed the world of elegy, playfully modeling each and every character along with its personality. He began a new approach of work in which he would change characters into new shapes, a feature of his approach to poetry that would reappear in his most important piece of work, Metamorphoses (3)....   [tags: character analysis, ovid]
:: 4 Works Cited
1000 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Concept of Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay - The Concept of Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses In Ovid's Metamorphoses, the concept of love seems to vary from character to character. In one case, a god in the form of a man desperately seeks a particular woman and refuses to relent until he has her. In another instance, a female goddess cares deeply for a man and goes to great lengths to protect him from danger. In yet another case, both who are arranged to be married seem indifferent about the matter. This anti-epic certainly does not follow the adventurous theme of the epic....   [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays] 409 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]